NAPLES, Fla. — State wildlife officials say there were 29 documented Florida panther kittens born in 2010, and another 30 to 40 likely were born to unmonitored panthers.
That compares to just 11 documented kittens born in 2009.
The numbers may indicate a big leap in panther population growth – especially compared to 23 documented panther deaths this year – but not all of the kittens survive.
Scientists believe less than 120 Florida panthers remain in the wild, though they are running out of habitat. Only 24 of those big cats have radio collars. Of those two dozen, 11 of those are females that had litters this year.